I’m struggling with pride today. Not my own, though I know there’s probably plenty there, but rather the pride of the people here. I see it everywhere and I don’t know how to deal with or understand it.
Chris had to fire our day guard this morning because he was socializing, on the job, with someone who had vandalized another employees home. Chris had already told him that if he wanted to visit with this person he needed to do it at his own home, not here. Chris asked him if he could promise that he wouldn’t visit with this man again while working, and told Moliere that if he couldn’t he would have to fire him because we can’t have this be a place where our employees didn’t feel safe. Moliere’s response was, “Then I think you should fire me.”
This morning I also had to talk to one of our ladies that comes in a couple days a week to help with laundry and other housekeeping. Monday I had given her something to wash and it was in good shape. Yesterday I went to pull it off the line and it had a huge rip right through the center of it. When I asked her about it this morning she told me that the fabric wasn’t strong and that it ripped while she was washing it. I was less upset about the fact that it ripped than I was about her not telling me it happened. I told her that if something broke she needed to let me know, not just go on like nothing happened and leave me to find it.
It’s so hard coming from a culture, where I’m taught the importance of taking responsibility for myself and my actions, and come to a culture where people are taught that your pride is more important than admitting you were in the wrong. Another missionary was sharing a story this weekend about one of his employees who lied to him. When caught in the lie the employee was given the opportunity to take responsibility, or he would lose his job. He chose to lose his job (in a country where there is next to nothing for employment and most families have no less than 5 people) rather than own up to the lie.
This is just me venting about the things I don’t understand. There are many days where I wonder what my purpose is here. Lately I’ve been learning that part of it is about working with water, and the other part may be the opportunity that we have to show people that there are other ways of doing life. Just a thought.